Minnesota Hunter Safety Course


Chapter Summary

Some hunters prefer hunting with handguns because they offer a greater challenge than hunting with a rifle or shotgun. However, hunters should note that muzzle control is sometimes more difficult to achieve with a handgun, since they have a much shorter barrel.

  • All handguns have three basic parts: The barrel, the frame and the action.


  • You should know the four different types of handgun actions, and how they operate: double-action revolver, single-action revolver, break (or hinge) action, and the semi-automatic pistol.


  • The main difference between a single and double action revolver is that the double action can be fired by a single pull of the trigger - which cocks and drops the hammer. The hammer on the single-action must be cocked manually.


  • Most hinge-action pistols are designed for a single shot.


  • The semi-automatic pistol is the only handgun that might be equipped with a mechanical safety, such as a push button safety.


  • As a safety precaution when carrying a revolver, always make sure that the hammer is resting on an empty chamber.


  • Be sure to check local regulations before using any handgun for hunting.